Junglewife

Adventures of a former overseas missionary, pilot's wife, and mom of 4 girls

Twin pregnancy – my experience Part 2 August 15, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — junglewife @ 9:14 am

As I entered the 2nd trimester of my pregnancy with the twins, I could tell that things were going to be much different than my pregnancies with Natalie and Claire.

Thankfully, my morning sickness subsided for the most part. But, my belly grew quickly. Much more quickly than it had with my other pregnancies. Even though I was gaining weight at about the same rate I had in previous pregnancies. By the time I was 4 or 5 months along, I felt like I was full term!  Many people feel during their 2nd trimester (months 4-6) that they aren’t feeling sick anymore, but aren’t yet too big that getting around is uncomfortable, so those months generally tend to be the most enjoyable. However, I felt like I skipped the 2nd trimester entirely. I felt like I went straight from morning sickness to being huge and awkward!  It was hard to bend over, hard to roll over in bed, and in general I just felt very uncomfortable.

I took a few trips with Dan and the girls during those months. Here are a couple pictures of us in NYC on a trip we took at the end of April. At this point I would have been about 5 months along. We walked quite a bit, and I got tired pretty easily and was fairly uncomfortable, but still was able to get around.

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Buying bread at an Ecuadorian bakery in Queens.

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Riding the subway.

About a month later (end of May) we made another trip to NYC, and I decided that was the last of the traveling for me.  We probably walked way more than I should have (due to construction on the subways) and also visited the Museum of Natural History. I had to sit down and rest quite a bit and was pretty exhausted by the end of the short trip.

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In the butterfly garden at the Museum of Natural History

My friends at church had a baby shower for me right around this point, and something strange happened to me at the baby shower. I sat in a chair and opened presents during the shower, and afterwards I stood up to get ready to leave. When I did that, I felt like a muscle had pulled, right by where my left leg joins with my hip. I could stand without pain, but when I tried to lift my leg to walk, it hurt terribly and I couldn’t do it. To add insult to injury (or maybe, injury to injury!) the next morning I stubbed my toe on my right foot pretty badly. So I was laid up in the recliner for a couple days, not able to walk very well at all!

That pain in my leg would get better and worse throughout the rest of my pregnancy, but it never went away entirely. When it was bad, walking was very difficult. Another related odd symptom was that the top of my left thigh became tingly and numb. That continued throughout the rest of my pregnancy, and oddly enough, to this day that sensation has never gone away completely.

By the time I was 7 months pregnant, I had a huge belly. I found myself trying to figure out how I could minimize my walking. I wished there were “pregnancy” parking spots near the handicapped spots so I wouldn’t have to walk so far at the grocery store. I remember shopping for Natalie and Claire’s school supplies at the beginning of July and could barely walk around the store to complete my shopping.

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About 7 1/2 months pregnant here

By the time they scheduled my date to be induced, I was DONE being pregnant. I had never felt so miserable in my life. I could barely walk. I waddled. WADDLED! I had never waddled with Natalie and Claire! Rolling over in bed was practically an Olympic event. I was so, so tired, and just ready to have those babies out of me.

Thankfully, though, despite the extreme discomfort, I stayed relatively healthy during my pregnancy. I never had to go on bedrest. My blood pressure stayed at a healthy level. I did not get gestational diabetes.  I had very frequent Braxton-Hicks contractions (I remember feeling the tightening in my belly as early as 8 weeks or so!) but thankfully did not go into preterm labor. Of course, I had many more frequent ultrasounds to monitor the babies than the average pregnancy. Because the babies shared a placenta, the risk was higher that one of them would start taking more of the nutrients and growing faster than the other, so they were monitored closely.

Just a side note on type of twins: We found out our babies are what are called “Mo/Di” twins, short for Monochorionic/Diamniotic, which means that they are identical twins that came from a single egg that split after it was fertilized. They shared a placenta but had a thin membrane separating their amniotic sacs within the larger, outer sac. This type of twin pregnancy is much lower risk than babies that share an amniotic sac, and thus run the risk of their umbilical cords getting tangled.

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Stacks of ultrasound pictures, brought home after every doctor’s appointment. After looking at the dates on these pictures, I think I had ultrasounds at 18, 22, 26, 28, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, and 36 weeks!

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My last pregnancy photo, just over 36 weeks pregnant on my last Sunday before the babies were born (I’ll do the math for you – that’s 8 months)

So, yeah, by this time I was SO ready to be done being pregnant.  Ready for those babies to be out, and ready to not be pregnant anymore.  If only I had known what was to come after their birth… more on that later…

(But seriously, as hard as it has been, there is no way I would wish to be pregnant again!)

Coming next, the twins’ birth story (what I can remember of it, anyway!)

 

Twin pregnancy – my experience Part 1 August 14, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — junglewife @ 9:06 am

My pregnancy with the twins… warning! This might be long!

I found out I was pregnant right around the first of the year, 2014.

As many of you know, we lost a baby in April 2013 while we were living in Wamena, Indonesia. It was a horrific experience and only by the grace of God am I still alive. I hoped to get pregnant again shortly after that. And in fact, I did. I was thrilled when I got a positive pregnancy test in July. Unfortunately, about a week after that, I started bleeding.  Twice more that fall the same thing happened – I had a positive test and then a week or so later, lost the baby.

So in early January 2014 when I saw that little line show up on the stick, I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t hope. I couldn’t bear to start even thinking of when the due date might be. I told a few close friends and family, and asked them to pray for me. And honestly, I believe in that power of prayer. God is good and allowed this pregnancy to ‘stick’ when the others hadn’t.

I started to experience “morning” sickness pretty much right away (and by “morning” sickness I mean that I felt nauseated all day long.) But it wasn’t any worse than it had been with my other pregnancies. I remember being much more tired with Natalie’s pregnancy than I was with this one. And I was definitely WAY more sick with Claire than I was with this one. So nothing about it made me think that anything about this pregnancy was any different than the other two.

We had just moved to Raleigh a few months before, so I asked a few friends at church for recommendations for an OB doctor, and wasn’t able to get in for my first appointment until I was about 8 or 9 weeks along. Dan stayed home with Natalie and Claire and I went to the appointment by  myself. At this point, I was just hoping to hear a heartbeat and see a baby that was alive, something that had never happened with Tony (the first baby we lost).

So I got to the office, filled out a TON of paperwork, and finally got in to see the doctor. She came in, and jokingly said, “Okay, well let’s do an ultrasound and make sure there’s not two in there!” I laughed and waited to see my little baby’s heartbeat. After a few minutes, she said, “Actually, I was just joking earlier, but… it looks like you’re having twins!” Oh my word, I can’t even express the shock I felt at that moment! NOTHING could have prepared me to hear that!  She gave me a printout of the ultrasound picture showing two little babies, and I drove home in shock to tell Dan the news.

I don’t remember exactly, but I think I sat down and wordlessly showed him the ultrasound and then burst into tears. He was pretty worried, and said, “But you’re happy, right?!”

Yes, I was happy. I had never dreamed or imagined twins, and started to think about all that would mean for our family.

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The picture of the ultrasound that I brought home to show Dan. The kidney bean-shaped sac in the middle has two babies, one on top and one down and to the left. There is a thin membrane separating them.

This photo stayed on our refrigerator all through the time I was pregnant!  Of course, I had many more ultrasound photos… more on that in the next post!

 

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We announced our twin pregnancy with this picture. Natalie and Claire were THRILLED that they were going to have twin baby brothers or sisters!

I we announced right around the time I was finishing up the first trimester. Up until this point I felt like it was a pretty normal pregnancy.

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This picture was taken around 12-13 weeks of pregnancy. A pretty normal baby bump for my 3rd pregnancy (at least, my 3rd that made it this far), I’d say!

Then, things started to change… More on that in part two!

 

Life with twins – thoughts on writing May 21, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — junglewife @ 1:05 am

I keep running through posts in my head. I want to post about what life with the twins has been like so far, but I don’t know exactly how to go about starting, so I never do it. I feel like I “should” post first about how pregnancy/birth was, and then post in order about how the first 6 months were, etc. But I’m not sure my thoughts are all in that order. So I’m not sure I’ll do it that way.

I don’t know how many people are really interested in my thoughts and experiences regarding life with twins. I remember when the babies were infants, going through some pretty rough times, and Googling a lot of things, trying to find someone, somewhere who might have gone though something similar.  So I guess I feel like, if I write about my experiences, and someone somewhere is looking for a little bit of hope or at least to feel like they’re not alone, and they find my blog, then I’ll be happy with that. At least if I put my experiences out there, that might happen, where if I never write them down, then there’s no chance of that happening.

So, I’m going to try to write down some of my thoughts and experiences. I am not looking for sympathy. I’m not looking for understanding. Every baby is different and every parent’s experience is different. No one can truly understand what a parent goes through except for that parent. No one else will ever have the same experience, not even their spouse. But sometimes just reading about someone else going through something similar can help you feel like you’re not quite so alone. And I guess that’s what I’m hoping I can be for someone else.

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Cora and Amy, one month old, sleeping on my lap… where they always slept… more on that later…

 

We love year round school! April 24, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — junglewife @ 3:29 am

When we moved to Raleigh, we found out that many of the public elementary and middle schools are on a year-round schedule. We weren’t quite sure what to think, but after about 2 1/2 years of living with it, we really love the year round school schedule! The girls are on one of their four breaks (called “track out”) they get during the school year, so I’ve been thinking about some of the things I like about the year round schedule:

  • More frequent breaks. It is so nice for the kids to always have a break to look forward to, and not one that’s several months away. Their schedule is roughly 9 weeks of school followed by 3 weeks off. That means they’re getting a break every two months or so, which is really great.
  • No super-long summer break where they get bored and forget everything they learned in the previous grade. In fact, with the schedule they’re on, they only have one week off between grades! That makes it really easy to jump right into the next grade of learning! Of course, it only gives mom one week to buy school supplies…!
  • Breaks during the “off-season” when not many other people are on vacation. This means cheaper vacations if we want to travel somewhere, and easier for parents to get time off work because it’s not when everyone else wants time off, too!
  • The schools can accommodate more kids. Only 3/4 of the kids in the school are in session at any given time, and there are never empty classrooms. When our kids’ classes go on break, the classes that are returning from their break move into their classrooms! When our kids go back to school when their break is over, they will move into the classrooms vacated by the group just starting their break. There are 4 groups of students (about 2 classes for each grade in each group at our girls’ school) and one of them is on break at any point in time.

So there you have it. We love year round school! I’d be happy to answer and questions you have about it, since I realize it’s not the norm for most people.

Like I said, the girls are on their track out right now, and with Dan’s schedule we were able to take them to Great Wolf Lodge for a few days earlier this week. There were not many other people there and we had a blast!

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Breakfast at Cracker Barrel. The kids love the rocking chairs!

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Edited because I was on my phone and when I checked it on the computer the photos weren’t showing right.

 

April 2016 update April 18, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — junglewife @ 12:18 am

I am joining the technology revolution and have installed the WordPress app on my phone. I thought I’d post an update just to see how it works.

The twins Amy and Cora are 20 months old now. They are no longer babies, but we still call them “the babies”. Natalie and Claire are “the girls”.

The babies are growing by leaps and bounds. Quite literally. They are trying to learn to jump, and will jump/skip all over the place. Their vocabulary is also growing exponentially. They try to copy everything we say and have quite a few recognizable words now. They love animal noises and call dogs “woof woof”, etc.

One thing they haven’t figured out is that they are two separate people – they call each other Amy. When we ask them to say “Cora”, they will say “Amy”, and will point to themselves and both say “Amy!”

They love bubbles, playing outside, and Elmo. They don’t sleep. (That will be a whole other post or 10.)

They are starting to play together more and more, feeding each other food from the play kitchen, etc. Of course, they also kick/bite/scratch/pull each others’ hair, too…

Natalie is in 4th grade and loves to read (books like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and the Warriors series) and play Minecraft.

Claire is in 2nd grade and likes playing Minecraft, too, with Natalie. She also plays with the babies and likes to be active outside.

The older girls are both very creative and like to paint, draw, write stories, etc.

Here are a few pictures for you:


Playing in the rain.
  
  Claire’s 8th birthday



  

 

Introducing the DeSalvo Twins! September 13, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — junglewife @ 4:30 am

Well, being that we have new babies in the house, I figured it might be time to revive this ol’ blog. I know that most of my blog readers (if they haven’t all left by now!) are friends with me on Facebook, so a lot of the pictures, etc, will be re-posts, but I can put more stories on here 🙂

So, just in case you hadn’t heard, we have two new additions to our family! Cora Joy and Amy Grace made their entrance in the wee hours of the morning on August 15.  Cora was ahead of Amy by about 20 minutes. 🙂 It took us a couple of days to decide on their names. Dan and I had discussed some names but hadn’t finalized anything and when the babies were born we weren’t quite sure if the names we’d talked about ‘fit’ them or not. So, they were Baby A and Baby B for a couple days.

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They are 4 weeks old today and we’re thrilled to have them in our family!

I won’t make this too long as the babies are nursing on my lap right now and I want to make sure and get this posted but I will finish up with some pictures 🙂

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Granny with Amy in the hospital. You can see Claire holding Cora in the background.

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On the day we got home from the hospital.

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Snuggling my babies.

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Natalie with her new sisters.

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Proud daddy!

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Babies sleeping on my lap.

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Looks like they’re holding hands 🙂

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Getting some floor time 🙂

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Natalie with Cora. She is just smitten with her baby sisters. She even made up a song that goes, “the cuteness never ends…” 🙂

(Yes, they are identical. So far we haven’t had any trouble telling them apart because Cora has so much more hair than Amy!)

 

Thoughts from the middle… September 25, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — junglewife @ 1:56 am

In between

Between cultures

Between settled

Between friends

Between homes

Moving and packing, packing and moving

The old settled is left behind, not yet in the new

The old wasn’t perfect but at least I knew how to live there

The new is unknown and no longer familiar

Learning how to live in the unfamiliar again

Overwhelming choices, busy-busy-busy

What was easy and comfortable isn’t always easy now

What worked there doesn’t always work here

Cooking, shopping, church, making friends

My friends are still friends but not the same

Those living over there have moved on

I am no longer there, no longer part of their daily lives

Those who are here are mostly long-distance

Have their own lives to live

I have not been part of their daily lives for a long time

Hard to re-insert myself

Figure out my role

Start from scratch in more ways than one

Wish I had a drop-by-for-a-cuppa, how’s-your-day-going kind of friend

Trying to settle a bit without being fully settled yet

Trusting and waiting

Trusting

Trusting

 

 

Better late than never… Disneyland! August 28, 2013

Filed under: Kids,Travel — junglewife @ 12:07 pm

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Disneyland!

Way back in February we had the chance to take the kids to Disneyland on our return to Indonesia.  I’m trying to get caught up on some pictures and so am sharing them with you now 🙂

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Me with “Granny” Karen who is a good friend of my parents and honorary grandma to my girls 🙂

She drove up from her home to visit with us for a few hours while we were at Disney.

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Walking from our hotel to Disneyland with Granny Karen.

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In front of the Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney. The girls got to meet the bird Elmo who put on quite a show for us!

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Claire with Elmo

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Cute butts! The girls just had to sit on these fun barstools at the Rainforest Cafe!

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Selfie of Dan and Claire on the Dumbo ride

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Look, Mom! No hands!

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The girls picked out stuffies at Build-A-Bear as their souvenirs from Disney (thank you, Granny Karen!)

Claire picked a white kitty

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And Natalie picked a dog with mickey mouse ears on its paws and ears. She named it Disney 🙂

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Riding the teacups!  The girls liked it so much we rode this one several times in the days we were there!

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The princesses were a HUGE hit, especially with Claire. I didn’t even think about bringing princess dresses with me for Claire to wear while at Disneyland (like we saw so many other girls wearing), but thankfully she didn’t complain. She was just happy that she got to meet Jasmine, her favorite princess!

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The girls liked Jasmine so much we had to wait in line to meet her again later in the day!

This time Claire remembered to bring her new Jasmine doll to show to Jasmine the princess 🙂

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They also met Tiana (from Princess and the Frog)

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And Belle from Beauty and the Beast

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We did go back one night for a parade. Since it was the off-season, the park closed relatively early and there weren’t parades/fireworks every night, but we did enjoy the one we saw, despite the mechanical difficulties they had with some of the floats!

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Dan especially enjoyed hearing the jazz bands perform.

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Enjoying beautiful Disneyland!

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Natalie didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as the Dumbo ride… she kept saying “No, don’t go higher!” since we could control the height of the rockets on this ride!

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Radiator Springs was definitely the highlight of our visit to California Adventure!

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Riding on the tractors at Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. At every ride they give the warnings in both English and Spanish. Usually the Spanish is in the same voice on every ride but on this one it was all done in Mater’s voice. It was SO funny listening to the Spanish spoken in his distinctive drawl!

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The girls enjoyed trading pins with the cast members. I bought lanyards and some pins from Ebay before we went, and then the girls had pins to trade while we were there without having to spend $5/pin at the souvenir stores.

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The girls LOVED riding the carousels. There was hardly ever any wait, so they were able to ride over and over if they wanted to!

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In our hotel room in Anaheim. (Yes, we were on our way back to Indonesia… see the luggage piled up almost to the ceiling behind me to the right!)

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Can you tell Claire has spent most of her life in Asia?! This is what Asians do when their picture is taken 🙂

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About to ride the Ferris wheel.

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Meeting Jessie (from Toy Story)

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Enjoying a parade at California Adventure. We didn’t even know there was going to be a parade that afternoon until we saw everyone gathering. It was easy to get a good spot along the parade route and so nice and relaxing to just sit and enjoy it.

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And finally, a nice swim in our hotel pool. It looks MUCH warmer than it actually was!

So, that was our Disney vacation. Maybe in another 5 (or 10) years we can do it again!

 

Back again August 17, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — junglewife @ 3:09 am

Okay, I have no more excuses. It has been 4 months since my last post and unless I want to abandon this blog altogether, I think I better get back in the game 🙂 

There has been a LOT of change in our lives in the last few months. Shortly after my miscarriage, we decided that it was time for us to leave Indonesia. We had already decided that, most likely, we would leave permanently when we went back to have the baby, and then when we lost the baby, we just moved the timetable up a bit. (See our latest prayer letter here.)

The end of May and beginning of June saw a lot of sorting and packing around our house. It was HARD to decide what to sell and what to keep!  We had a lot of friends to help us as we sold our stuff and moved out of our house.

On June 20, we left Wamena. It was sad to leave but we know that we are following the Lord as He leads us.

Since then we have been living with Dan’s mom in Lynden, WA. We have done some traveling to Colorado for a DAR (Debrief and Renewal) seminar at MTI International and also to our MAF headquarters in Nampa, ID.

We currently are taking some time to rest and seeking what God has for us in the future. We are still with MAF for now but not sure what our future holds. We appreciate your prayers as we seek God’s will for our lives!

Whew. Now that I have re-opened the blog again maybe I will do a little bit better posting in the future 🙂 I will try to get caught up with some pictures and stories from the past few months as well.

 

A hard day April 14, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — junglewife @ 8:14 pm

This is a hard post to write. So, actually, I am not going to write it. I am copying below an e-mail Dan wrote to some of our family members (with just a little bit of editing). I will write more later. Thank you for your prayers.

We are okay.  Sarah started to have some bleeding on Friday afternoon.  We went to the local clinic on Saturday evening and got an ultrasound.  Sarah had gotten an ultrasound there 2 weeks ago.  The doctor confirmed that the baby had not grown at all over the past two weeks and was probably not alive anymore. 

This morning (Sunday morning) was pretty scary, as the miscarriage was in full swing.  A Canadian midwife was here to help Sarah.  Together, we monitored her blood pressure and were in nearly constant contact with Sarah’s dad (Roy, who is a medical doctor) in North Carolina via cell phone. 

Sarah was losing a lot of blood, and her blood pressure was going down.  I asked my co-workers to get a plane ready so we could fly Sarah to the coast where there are “better” medical facilities there, but it quickly became apparent that Sarah would not be able to make the 1 hour flight. 

Because it was Sunday morning here, everything is closed.  All of the pharmacies are closed, most doctors are not around, and I think the local “hospital” is pretty much closed too.  Thankfully, after a bunch of calling around, the doctor who gave Sarah the ultra sound the night before was willing to see her at the local clinic. 

We got Sarah over to the clinic.  The doctor wanted to do a D&C procedure, to remove the baby and all that was causing her to lose so much blood, this would require her to be put to sleep.  I was really not excited about this.  Roy told me on the phone that this was probably what Sarah needed, that it would probably save her life.  So, we had the procedure done.  I was able to stay at Sarah’s side the whole time.  She came through like a champion, though there were a few times I was scared that she had stopped breathing.  Sarah finished one more bottle of IV fluid at the clinic, then we were released to come home.  Sarah has been resting on the couch since, and has done a good job eating and drinking. 

We are okay.  I am very thankful Sarah is still with us.  Of course we are very sad that our baby is not, but my fear was that today was going to be much, much worse than it was.